An open letter to the universe (aka UP Manila Administration)

An open letter to the universe:

Still in light of the GAB Caf issue

I didn’t want to go to a private university for college, not only because of the fear of a higher cost of living and the desire to study in diversity, but also because I was tired of the way an administration can bulldoze through the needs of its students and its other constituents for the sake of good publicity and more capital.

Obviously, none of the benefits to a public university are materialising. Cost of living is now definitely going up, because I can’t exactly eat off food where significant pollution has been (health reasons). It is Day 04 of no GAB Caf and I went hungry. I live in a condo near the school, but I neither have the time or the skills to prepare myself a variety of healthy foods on a daily basis. My budget for the three meals per day is less than Php200. Now, the nearest regulated food outlet is KFC. I categorically refuse to eat two Php50 fast food meals a day, just to get by.

And diversity and freedom is no longer a reality; I doubt if it ever has been. The culmination of this issue has shown us that the (rarely united) voice of the students does not matter in the moments it should (which is every time). There is no plethora of opinions, no avenue where we could debate and discourse. We rally, we write, we protest. We go to social media. We are unheard.

Do you know what I thought when I first heard of this issue? I thought, why not contact the Association of Parents or alumni or equivalent? The administration will probably listen to their money. Just throw some donations, renovate a wing. That kind of thing. And then I remembered. We’re not in a private, money-making university –it just feels like it.

And look at the trends. A state-subsidized university influenced by PAASCU, raising tuition and turning heads with “STS” and miscellaneous laboratory fees, changing academic calendars (without preparation, transparency or consultation), the impending loss of essential facilities like the SSWC, and now the eviction of small businesses with no clear reason or alternative. We look at a forwarded homogeneity of beliefs and plans of action that is neither effective nor reflective of true democratic principles a public university is supposed to stand for.

And I thought it would end there: with an empty parking lot, with empty stomachs, with enraged streets. But then you go and say this, and I am dumbfounded. What is your endgame? Where do you get off rubbing our losses into our faces? Students and administration and families of studentsΒ are having the chutzpah to tell you to your face that you are stupid. But then again what good does it do to show everyone the stupidity we have already assumed? We already talked about how your excuses are unacceptable in any kind of court.Β Is the endgame this: students rising up, storming your offices and enacting People Power 2.5? Because we can, if that is what it takes.

And, in the background, election campaigns for university and college council positions take place. In a startling mirror of the macro society, there are people who fight (amongst themselves) for what they believe in, shouts unheard by the people who need to listen. This is my country in motion. We are citizens oppressed, administrations snivelling to the media and people of higher authority for the gratitude of unsuspecting moderates. The students are already oversaturated with righteous indignation, but it falls to deaf ears. At this rate, we will never reach a critical mass to achieve change. There is no critical mass.

I shudder to think of the future of the Philippines if this persists. I am glad that the student body refuses to be idle in the face of gross behaviour. But if the administration refuses to change, and, by the virtue of their authority, does not back down, then we are doomed. We are doomed to a future where generations of intelligent, premiere youth leaders are trained in a system that is as corrupt and systematically unable as the one we see in the senate, in the executive branch, in the court.

Where will you stop? We ask for transparency and discourse, for dissemination of information. Am I personally so removed from the community that I cannot hear what you say, or is it simply because you have not explained yourself substantially? When will you realise that, regardless of the efficacyΒ of the policies you create or the rationale you push for, the act of ignoring the voice of the people –or ignoring this issue — is tantamount to a crime against the people? We are being failed by the very institution that should have formed us.

(More importantly, where do I get my breakfast and lunch?)

xx

I am so sorry to my followers who didn’t sign up for me ranting about our university. But there are just some things I can’t shut up about.

For life updates

I went on a swim

I still have not gone to debate training, Day 12

We had fun times in AIESEC Dept Mtg (mini-cute super??)

Chutzpah used in a blog post, this is awesome

And I am so, so tired of this stupidity. So many bad vibes all around. :(

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Miguel says:

    Sa “Makels!” Yung may tag-benteng macaroni at spag sa GAB… pero ewan ko lang kung andun pa siya. :)

    1. Still have to check. :( The GAB Caf vendors moved na daw to the sidewalk sa tapat ng PGH Faura side.

    2. Found them na! Nagbebenta na sina Ate Makels sa sidewalk sa tapat ng OUR; naka-plastic na yung mga pasta and may maliit na table na lang sila.

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